Podcast
Evolutionary Programming with Dr. Bill Porto

Evolutionary Programming with Dr. Bill Porto

Joining us today is Dr. Bill Porto, Redpoint Senior Analytics Engineer and storied AI researcher, academic, and developer. Bill shares all his current projects, including pattern recognition and optimization models, and he reveals what it was like to work with the father of Evolutionary Programming, Dr. Larry Fogel. We touch on a new definition for computational intelligence, and talk about where evolutionary programming is in use today, before exploring the fact that evolution is not simply survival of the fittest, but increases variance through retaining less perfect fits. What’s more, we define evolution as adaptation in a dynamic environment.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Be introduced to today’s guest, Bill Porto, Redpoint Senior Analytics Engineer.
  • How he entered the industry, his background in applied math, and how he ended up in his current role.
  • The subjects he is working on now: pattern recognition and optimization models, personalized recommendation systems and business process optimization.
  • What it was like to work with Larry Fogel, a polymath in the true sense of the word.
  • How computational intelligence is just taking cues from nature.
  • Where evolutionary programming is in use today: commercial and government organizations, transport, the pharmaceutical industry, and more.
  • Why evolution is not really survival of the fittest, but increases variance by retaining more solutions.
  • How evolutionary processes require noise and how we should control what kind of noise it accesses.
  • What evolution is all about: adaptation in a dynamic environment.
  • Why having solutions that are medium fits can help you find exactly the right one.
  • How there is no single algorithm for all optimization problems.
  • Why, if you spend a lot of time getting a perfect solution, it may be stale by the time you implement it.
  • How important it is to prioritize customer satisfaction and optimize human resources
  • Why considering different goals and attaching different weights to them is so important.
  • Why a hybrid approach is good engineering practice as is using the best tool for the job.
  • How customer acquisition is not the same thing as customer retention.
  • Non-discrete, asymmetric bowl functions as a way to create solutions.
  • Scalability as a feature of the current landscape that enables us to tackle large problems.
  • Why continual learning is such a powerful approach.

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